MON-ØØ163-7 - Roundup Ready™ alfalfa | BCH-LMO-SCBD-15331 | Living Modified Organism | Biosafety Clearing-House


Living Modified Organism (LMO)

Decisions on the LMO Risk Assessments  
last updated: 01 Aug 2019
Living Modified Organism identity
The image below identifies the LMO through its unique identifier, trade name and a link to this page of the BCH. Click on it to download a larger image on your computer. For help on how to use it go to the LMO quick-links page.
Roundup Ready™ alfalfa
Medicago sativa, also known as alfalfa or lucerne, is a perennial herbaceous legume. It contains the 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase gene from Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain CP4 to confer tolerance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup®, and allow producers to use the herbicide a weed control option. Due to the inclusion of the Figwort Mosaic Virus 356S promoter, herbicide tolerance is constitutive and allows for weed control at anytime (early, pre-plant, pre-emergence, and post-emergence).
The term “Recipient organism” refers to an organism (either already modified or non-modified) that was subjected to genetic modification, whereas “Parental organisms” refers to those that were involved in cross breeding or cell fusion.
Proprietary alfalfa clone ‘R2336.’
Characteristics of the modification process
  • Agrobacterium-mediated DNA transfer
Some of these genetic elements may be present as fragments or truncated forms. Please see notes below, where applicable.
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-14979-7 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase gene | Agrobacterium tumefaciens (Agrobacterium)
    Protein coding sequence | Resistance to herbicides (Glyphosate)
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-101507-5 FMV 34S promoter | Figwort mosaic virus (Figwort mottle virus, FMV, CMoVb)
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-103901-2 HSP 70 5' untranslated leader sequence | Petunia hybrida (Petunia, PETHY)
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-100365-6 Chloroplast transit peptide 2 | Arabidopsis thaliana (Thale cress, Mouse-ear cress, Arabidopsis, ARATH)
    Transit signal
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    BCH-GENE-SCBD-101877-5 rbcS-E9 gene terminator | Pisum sativum (Garden pea, PEA)
Transcription of the herbicide tolerance gene, 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (cp4-epsps) from Agrobacterium tumefaciens, is under control of the Figwort Mosaic Virus 35S promoter and the Pisum sativum Rubisco small subunit terminator. The transcript also contains the Petunia hybrid heat shock protein 70 5'untranslated region for enhanced translation and the Arabidopsis thaliana chloroplast transit peptide 2 for targeting the translated polypeptide to the chloroplast. Transcript level are expected to be elevated due to the constitutive, viral promoter and the protein sequestered in the chloroplasts. 

- A single T-DNA integration site was detected by Southern blot analysis
- The vector backbone was not integrated into the J163 genome
- A single basepair change (A to C) was detected  in the J163 insertion. However, the change occurs in an intervening sequence and thus is not expected to change the sequences transcribed or translated.
LMO characteristics
  • Food
  • Feed
Detection method(s)
Additional Information
Lucerne is a forage crop for feeding to dairy cattle and horses, as well as a valuable feed crop for beef cattle, sheep and other livestock. It is a nitrogen-fixing crop due to its symbiosis with Rhizobium meliloti and has the ability to improve soil fertility.

The EPSPS gene is present in animals, fungi, bacteria and plants and is responsible for aromatic amino acid biosynthesis. Glycophosate binds to the plant version of the EPSPS gene and blocks enzymatic biosynthesis of the aromatic amino acids and leads to the death of the plant. The introduced gene was isolated from the common soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain CP4 and the form of EPSPS enzyme produced by this gene has a low affinity for glycophosate, thus allowing for the continued biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids.